And I’m prompted my old friend, Gaelic Scotland’s answer to Simon Reeve, Anna Kennedy, to probe flip-floppin’ Georgia statues.
I admit I didn’t know about The Sea Slippers in Batumi or any of the other funky statues in the Asian country.
It’s not something George Zurabashvili or I got around to.
When he invited me over to his gaffe, the Georgian Embassy in Dublin.
We were too busy talking about Georgian wine, the oldest in the world, and rugby.
And if I could get an Irish delegation out to the country.
Platforms for success
But statues while usually not a sole reason for visiting a destination are often one of the must-do excusions…
The Statue of Liberty in New York, Christopher Columbus in Barcelona, Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, Anne Frank in Amsterdam, Nelson’s Column in London, Jim Larkin in Dublin,. or the best of all, Greyfriars Bobby in Edinburgh.
That Georgia has such a funky statue shouldn’t come as too much surprise.
As countries which were long suppressed by Soviet Union have had an explosion of architectural expression since the break-up of the USSR.
Czech out Czerny
Now I love an Astronomical Clock as much as the next person who takes the most common selfie in Prague.
Although confession time here I do prefer the Beer Astronomical Clock in Zatec.
But if statues give you a historical shorthand for a city then Prague shows its many wonderful, modern, Communist and post-Communist faces.
Whether it’s peeing statues outside the Franz Kafka Museum (he would have approved), hanging umbrella men or the crawling babies up the Zivkov TV tower.
Or Czech patriarch King Charles IV or King Wenceslas.
Though truth be known, it’s hard to top climbing babies and peeing Pragueites.
And in a nod too to my pal Katarina who flies the flag for the Czechs but who was born under the banner of neighbours of Slovakia…
Cumil, the tin-helmeted bronze sculpture, who emerges from a mancover.
A road sign warns you as reckless drivers have chopped his head off before!
Now our Balkan friends have some unusual icons.
Remembering that British slapstick comedian Norman Wisdom is a national hero.
Bruce became a national hero through the black market for video cassettes.
A kick in the ribs for Marshall Tito there.
Alexander’s Great Mate
Alexander, of course, is a great icon the world over.
But his status is so high in south-east Europe that the Greeks tried to stop North Macedonia getting into the UN because they erected a statue to him in Skopje.
Well, we’ll leave the squabbling to these neighbours and instead celebrate Grozdanka Kanikova’s erection (stop it!).
It is in fact a Fish which seems to have three legs and appropriately stands outside the Olympic Swimming Pool.
And sometimes I (and others) wish the ground would just swallow me up.
In a twist on that the Hungarians give us a giant man emerging from the earth as part of an arts festival.
And so put your preconceptions behind about the old East.
And reflect instead on the statues around us in the UK.
Better flip-floppin’ Georgia statues and others than some old relics of Empire.